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Education Policy & The Public Interest: Celebrating the Scholarship of Helen "Sunny" Ladd

Colleagues of Helen “Sunny” Ladd, the Susan B. King Professor of Public Policy Studies and professor of economics at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, will discuss Ladd’s contributions to education policy, finance, and the pursuit of the public interest.

The celebration of scholarship will take place on Friday, May 19th at the Sanford School of Public Policy and will conclude with a reception for Sanford faculty, staff and students. Brief toasts will be welcome.

Whether or not you are able to attend the festschrift, we invite you to submit a letter to Helen "Sunny" Ladd to be included in a memory book.

Follow links on the left to register to attend, submit a letter, or read more about Helen "Sunny" Ladd.

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. His book,The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America, released just this month, documents the history of state-sponsored residential segregation and makes the case that our residential patterns are not “de facto” but a constitutional violation. He is also the author of Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (2008) and Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (2004). With the publication of his new book on residential segregation, he has now returned to “Sunny-Ladd-themes” (with his colleague Leila Morsy), exploring new aspects of the relationship of schools to society. A recent Morsy-Rothstein report shows the devastating effect on black children of their parents’ mass incarceration in our ill-advised war-on-drugs and tough-on-crime policies.

“The State and Local Public Finance Lunch Group”

John Yinger is Trustee Professor of Economics and Public Administration at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, and director of the education finance and accountability program in Maxwell’s Center for Policy Research.  His research focuses on education finance, urban economics and discrimination in housing and mortgage markets.  Before moving to Syracuse in 1986, he taught at Harvard University, the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin and served as a senior staff economist on the president’s Council of Economic Advisers. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 1975.

“Teacher Effectiveness, Improvement, and Policy in North Carolina Schools”

Lucy C. Sorensen is an assistant professor in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at University at Albany, State University of New York.  Her research explores human development and its interaction with public education systems, with a focus on how policy interventions can reduce educational inequality.  Her 2016 Duke Ph.D dissertation entitled Can a Broader Education Narrow the Gap? Evidence on Non-Academic Features of Schooling won the 2016 dissertation award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). She has a BA in Economics and East Asian Studies from Yale University, an MA in Economics from Duke University, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Duke University.

“Persistent Light: Disadvantaged Students, Supports, and Success

Steven Hemelt is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His primary fields of interest are the economics of education, education policy, labor economics, and program evaluation. Hemelt’s current research focuses on transitions from high school to college and the workforce, the role of costs in shaping students’ decisions about higher education, and differentiated school accountability. Hemelt has been collaborating with Charles Clotfelter and Helen Ladd since his arrival at Carolina in the spring of 2014.

“Educational Goods: Values, Evidence and Decision Making”

Susanna Loeb is the Barnett Family professor of education at Stanford University. She specializes in education policy, looking particularly at policies and practices that support teachers and school leaders. Her work spans the range of age-levels, including early education, k-12 and higher education. Her recent work focuses on information barriers to teaching improvement and parenting. Loeb is a member of the National Board for Education Sciences, co-director of Policy Analysis for California Education, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. 

Self-governing Schools, Choice and Competition in a Global Context

Edward B. Fiske, formerly the education editor of The New York Times, writes the Fiske Guide to Colleges, the leading college guide on the market. He has written extensively on education policy in developing countries for UNESCO, the World Bank and other major international organizations.  With co-author Helen Ladd he has written books and articles on education reform in New Zealand, South Africa, the Netherlands and England.

“Kindness and Truth”

Henry M. Levin is the William Heard Kilpatrick professor of economics and education at Teachers College, Columbia University and a senior fellow at the Educational Leadership Institute.  He is also the David Jacks Professor of higher education and economics, emeritus, at Stanford University where he taught from 1968-99. From 1986-2000 Levin served as the director of the Accelerated Schools Project, a national school reform initiative for accelerating the education of at-risk youngsters encompassing about 1,000 schools in 41 states. Levin is a specialist in the economics of education and human resources and has published 22 books and about 300 articles on these and related subjects.